Al Gore’s Obituary
By Charles R. Testrake
Exercise 138: ENDS. Write a story that ends with one of the following sentences. I chose: "Spring will be a little late this year." The reason I chose this line was because as soon as I read it I thought of climate change. Then thinking about climate change made think of Al Gore. Then the whole story popped into my head. I chose to write it in the form of a fictional obituary that discusses the presidency of Al Gore. The below story is a work of alternate history.
President Gore is Dead
April 10, 2034
Former President Albert Gore Jr. died this morning at his home in Tennessee of arterioscleroticcerebrovascular disease. He was surrounded by his wife Mary "Tipper" and their four children. He had just recently celebrated his 86th birthday.
Gore was elected President of the United States in 2000 after the controversial 5-4 Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore, which ruled that a Florida statewide recount would not violate the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The subsequent recount determined that Gore had won the election by 110 votes.
After the exuberance of the Clinton years and drama of the 2000 election, the Gore presidency was considered by many to be anticlimactic. The economic boom of the 1990’s began to dissipate and the unemployment rate rose to 5%. The Gore administration responded with a serious of tax increases to fund public works projects and also began to retighten regulations on the banking industry which had been loosened during the Clinton years.
In June 2001 a major international scandal broke when it was revealed on FOX News that Gore had ordered a CIA black ops unit to violate Pakistani borders to assassinate accused Islamic terrorist Osama bin Laden. Initially Gore denied complicity in bin Laden death, but after intense media pressure was forced to admit that he had ordered the assassination in the interests of national security. Pakistan subsequently broke off diplomatic relations with the U.S. for the remainder of the Gore presidency, and several Republican Congressmen introduced resolutions for impeachment in the House of Representatives. However none of these resolutions came to anything.
By 2004 Gore’s approval rating had slipped below 40%, yet he still decided to run for reelection. Gore had to fend off a strong primary challenge from former Connecticut Governor Howard Dean before losing the general election to George W. Bush in another close fight.
In the years immediately following his presidency, Gore managed to recover much of his lost popularity with the release of his environmental film "An Inconvenient Truth," which earned him an Academy Award and the Noble Peace Prize. By the end of 2007 he had become the chief critic of the disastrous Bush presidency. He seriously considered challenging Bush for a third time, but in the end decided to back the candidacy of the junior Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who defeated Bush in the biggest electoral landslide in American politically history. The Republican Party has yet to regain the presidency.
Shortly after the announcement of Gore’s death his daughter, Karenna Gore Schiff, appeared on the front lawn of the family home. With tears in her eyes she made the following statement: "This morning my father departed this world at peace. A State Funeral will be held in Washington in a few days time, but in lieu of flowers we ask mourners to please make a small donation to the Gore Climate Change Foundation. In spite all the good work my father achieved, spring will be a little late this year."